Audio Commentary

What I Learned Listening to David Fincher's 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' Commentary

Homages, nudity, inspirations, locations, music and Scotty the Cat

Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Photo: Columbia Pictures

"A tale about how a twenty-something girl and a forty-something man help each other out of hiding. That, to me, was the thing that we needed to support."

~ David Fincher

I listened to David Fincher's audio commentary from the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and just as I suspected it would be, it was filled with nuggets of information that not only increase my appreciation of the film, but my appreciation for Fincher's work and the fact he takes the time to provide a commentary for the 158 minute film.

Featured in this article are several bits of information from the origin of the opening title sequence, the homages, what inspired certain moments, Fincher's take on Lisbeth, the tattoos, the nudity, the merkin, his obsession for several takes, Scotty the Cat, Joel Kinnaman and even Michael Nyqvist's daughter.

I tried to include as many little pieces of information along with photos to support the comments. I also tried not to be too overwhelming. I hope I succeeded and I hope you enjoy. Look for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on DVD and Blu-ray on March 20.

The Opening Titles
"What would Lisbeth's nightmare be?"


The opening with Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) was cut "back to the bone" once they realized they were going to go with this title sequence.

Of the sequence Fincher says, "I liked the idea of an anthemnal, incredibly famous track that could be waled by a woman and I called Trent [Reznor] and I said, 'What do you think of a cover of 'Immigrant Song'?' And I think at first he thought I was joking. And I said, 'No, just imagine a woman's voice singing this.' And he did a version just to the music and I listened to it and thought it's so evocative of what I think Lisbeth is, not thinking, but sort of her marrow, what's happening down deep inside her bones."

Ren Klyce (sound mixer) got them Karen O.'s email and in about three or four days they had a version that Fincher says was "undeniable" and a great "kindred spirit" to what he thought Lisbeth was about.

Tim Miller at Blur was given the music and asked, "What would Lisbeth's nightmare be?" After eight weeks the result can be seen above.

Scotty the Cat

Scotty the Cat
Scotty the Cat
Photo: Columbia Pictures

Fincher says, "Scotty the cat had many specific things that were written for him to do. Scotty was great, but I gave up on [him doing specific things] about five or seven minutes into the first day. [Instead] we would have closed rehearsals where we'd bring the cat in and say, 'Okay, what would Scotty do here? He'd probably be over here on this chair watching what's going on,' and we'd put Scotty in his chair and whatever he ended up doing first that's what we would rehearse the scene around."

Couple of choice quotes related to Scotty the Cat:

"If you don't expect cats to do something they'll normally give you a very cat-like response."

"Again, Scotty the cat, doing great cat work."

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  • http://cineenuruguay.blogspot.com Driver

    This was a great post, can´t wait to get the blu-ray.

  • Gabriel

    Is Fincher's commentary the only extra on the Blu-Ray/DVD and ultraviolet combo?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Only extra on the DVD, the Blu-ray specs are right here.

    • Gabriel

      Whoops. Should have seen the video first.

  • adu

    Awesome post Brad, great work.

  • Drake

    Does Fincher make any mention of any plans he might have on returning for the sequels or not?
    Fantastic article man!

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      No he doesn't.

  • carrie

    what did i learn? Fincher's commentary is always the best in his movies

  • Abraham1987

    Excellent article !That gave me the desire to buy the dvd
    Can't wait to listen it when the dvd come out in France

    Pardon my english, I m from France!

  • John Levy

    Great GREAT post!

    Though I do wish you included the part in the commentary about Rooney Mara's first day and the Swedes approving of her as Lisbeth.